Posted in Psychology & Medicine


The ten things people are most afraid of are as following (according to a study of 1000 people in France in 1990):

  1. Snakes
  2. Nauseatingly high places
  3. Spiders
  4. Rats
  5. Bees
  6. Enclosed spaces
  7. Fire
  8. Blood
  9. Darkness
  10. Crowds/audience

Ants do not feel fear. The reason is simple. An ant does not know the meaning of death or its own frailty. It may worry about the survival of its city and the entire society, but even then they do not fear their own death.

To understand why they are never afraid, one must first consider that an anthill acts as a single organism. Each ant acts like a cell in the human body.
When we clip our nails, are our fingertips afraid? When we shave, is the hair scared as the razor approaches it? When you dip your feet in the bath to check the temperature, does the toe shudder in fear? Because they do not act as an autonomous unit, they do not feel fear.

Similarly, when we pinch our right hand with the left hand, the right hand does not feel contempt towards the left hand. If the left hand has more rings, the right hand does not envy it. If you forget self and think of the community like an organism, all your worries disappear. Perhaps this is how ants run such a successful, efficient society.

(from The Encyclopaedia of Relative and Absolute Knowledge by Bernard Werber)

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